Praying in the Psalms

Psalm 32:8-9 ESV – 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

Proverbs 3:5-7 ESV – 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

Wise words. Of course; yet how often I ignore this timeless truth because . . . (admit it — we don’t even need a ‘good’ reason to be self-willed)

I’m reading the psalms in a month, and the plan lines out five psalms each day. Since today is the 2nd, I started with Psalm 2, then 32, 62, 92, 122. While reading psalm 2, I was praying for those I know who have not submitted to God’s sovereign rule in their lives. How futile — they think they are throwing off the bonds and living independently — yet they don’t understand that God IS the sovereign of all creation, whether or not they acknowledge Him.

As I moved on to Psalm 32, and thanked God for the merciful gift of conviction and repentance, it struck me that God offers wisdom and instruction and counsel, and this ‘always’ presence. The Sovereign of all creation takes that kind of individual care for His children! So, why the warning of verse 9?

Because, despite the incredible gift of God’s counsel and presence and wisdom, I still am prone to “burst the bonds apart and cast away the cords” (from psalm 2). I have to be reminded to NOT be like a stubborn mule.

Which brings me to the prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 62 — God alone is my rock and my salvation; God is my refuge; I can trust in Him at ALL TIMES; I can pour out my heart before Him; He is my refuge (and my source of wisdom and strength and counsel).

It is good to give thanks to the Lord . . .to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night . . .(Psalm 92). I need to constantly remind myself that God is the Sovereign, and I am His child, and everything comes by His merciful hand. Ponder this –. . .the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Psalm 92:15) That’s why I can trust His sovereign rule over me; I am so prone to moods and change. God is completely consistent; completely righteous.

Finally, as well as praying for my heart to be clean before God, and that I would fear the Lord and submit to Him; praying for those who are still trying to “throw off the bonds and break the cords” would turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ].’ (from Acts 26:18) . . .

Psalm 122 calls us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to seek the good of the people. O God, open their eyes; turn their hearts back to You. Protect them from enemies that would seek their destruction.

Oh, God, unite my heart to fear Your name (from psalm 86)

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